Five Spot: You Know His Name

Welcome back to Five Spot. Every Friday, we'll examine a recent bit of music news and list five reasons why it's either brilliant or dumb-assed. Send tips to introducingliston@gmail.com.

How's this for a stretch: DMX, if you'll remember, was recently incarcerated for the 93rd time for, meh, it really doesn't even matter. He was supposed to serve only a few months before being released on probation, but Mr. X thought it prudent to throw a tray of food at a correctional officer and is now looking at a possible 8-year(!) increase to his sentence. Eight years seems a bit extreme to us (X was apparently pissed about being put on a bread-and-water-only diet as part of his punishment, which doesn't seem too fair either). But really, the first thing we thought about when we read this was not the injustice of the situation, but of another acronymed rapper behind bars: South Park Mexican.

SPM, undeniably Houston's most famous Hispanic rapper, was locked up in 2002 after being convicted of child molestation, a tale chronicled superbly in John Nova Lomax's 2002 Houston Press feature. Even today, despite the heinousness of his crimes, SPM continues to be deified by a majority of Houston's disenfranchised in Houston, particularly among the Latino segment. (Southeast side, stand up.) SPM's back-of-the-throat flow is of the spurting variety. It's often tinged with a sense of unavoidable anguish, a hypnotic characteristic that simultaneously validates his "realness" while undermining claims that the dope game ever produces a winner. Listen to him more than a few times and it's hard not to appreciate the forthrightness with which he crafts his music. He's like a Mexican R. Kelly. For your consideration, we'd like to present the following. Listen to all five songs in their entirety and we guarantee you'll be a fan. Or you'll be pissed that you just wasted 22 minutes of your life. One of those will definitely be true.

"Wiggy, Wiggy":

"I hit 'em with the shotty that I bought from Academy." That has to be true, right? We mean, they do have the right stuff at the right price. Besides, who lies about going to Academy?

"Mary Go Round":

This was the first song we ever heard from SPM. We heard it at a pool hall in San Antonio called Stoney D's. The irony of that situation did not strike us until about twenty five minutes ago.

"Mexican Radio":

Probably the most appropriate cover of an '80s song by a rapper ever (certainly more so than Flo Rida's "Right Round" anyway), "Mexican Radio" is an accidental magnum opus. The snare in the background begins to take on a voice of its own after about 45 seconds. Clever people will no doubt argue it carries a "Taps"-like aura of death. Clever people are douchebags.

"Real Gangster":

Imagine being a poor Mexican kid living in a gang infested neighborhood and you're just beginning to feel like maybe you really aren't shit (it's easier for some of us than most) and you hear this song for the first time. How could you not love it?

"You Know My Name":

Admittedly, SPM is no Talib Kweli when it comes to lyricism (he's probably a little closer to Plies), but you'd be hard-pressed to name ten other rappers who are as acerbic with their words. Can somebody please explain to him that it's "crème de la crème," not "crème a la crème," though? Hearing that reminds us an awful lot of when our dad would proclaim that he "could care less." It's "couldn't," dad. "Couldn't."


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